Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007.
Spaight working on a decision
After hearing he was too small to play in the SEC by Arkansas' previous coaching staff, junior college All American linebacker Martrell Spaight had shut the door on the possibility of gaining a scholarship offer from the Hogs. That all changed with the hiring of Bret Bielema as the Razorback head coach.
Spaight, 6-0 1/2, 220, 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of Coffeyville Community College hosted Bielema and assistant coach Bobby Allen for an in-home visit Saturday evening and was extended an offer.
" He told me everything that they wanted to do with the program," Spaight said. "He said he had a chance to see my film and fell in love with it the first time he saw it. He said I could be a player in his defensive scheme and help the program."
A 2011 graduate of North Little Rock high school, Spaight committed to Kansas State five days before the offer from the Hogs. With the help of his father, Mark, he's sorting things out and isn't sure when he'll have a decision.
"I'm talking with my dad about the pros and cons of each conference."Spaight said.
Spaight recorded more than 120 tackles each of his two seasons at Coffeyville and was named first team NJCAA All-American and Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
North Little Rock Coach Brad Bolding said Spaight is a special player and person.
"In all the years I've been coaching, he's in the top five," Bolding said. "He's the total person, athlete, work ethic and leader."
During the in-home visit, Bielema told Spaight about a linebacker who played for him that stood 5-foot 11-inches at Wisconsin.
"He said size really isn't a factor as long as you get the job done," said Spaight, who will enroll in January at his new school. " That really stood out to me."
Spaight didn't play a down of high school football until his senior year after having to sit out his sophomore season due to his academic progress wasn't up to his father's standards. His junior season never happened after suffering a foot injury in a lawn mower incident.
He was set to attend Southern Arkansas University after his senior season but opted for Coffeyville to pursue a chance to play on a bigger stage.
"He's not one of those that goes out," Bolding said. "He's kind of a dorm guy that stays around the dorm and concentrates on his books and becoming the best that he can as a linebacker."